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Is Your Firm Ready for Its Next FINRA Exam?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a self-regulatory organization authorized by the United States Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly. FINRA examines firms and associated persons for compliance with securities laws, regulations and rules, and, where appropriate, exercises its regulatory powers to investigate, initiate enforcement action and impose sanctions. Examinations are central to FINRA's regulatory operations, and they are one of the principal means by which the organization acts to protect investors and promote market integrity.

On December 7, 2018, FINRA published its 2018 Report on Examination Findings detailing observations from recent exams of member firms that it considers worth highlighting because of potential significance, frequency, and impact on investors and the markets.

On January 22, 2019, FINRA published its 2019 FINRA Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter. This year FINRA broadened the scope of the letter to be clearer with its priorities for risk monitoring.

The 2018 Exam Findings and the 2019 Examination Priorities along with practices FINRA has observed to be effective in certain circumstances are discussed in the first two sections below. Finally, the last section below will detail an insider’s look at how to plan for a FINRA exam. 

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